Feds to reduce Hawaii false killer whale bycatch
HONOLULU — The federal government is forming a group that will think of ways to prevent the accidental snagging of a rare dolphin species by the Hawaii-based longline fishery.
The National Marine Fisheries Service said Tuesday it’s establishing a Take Reduction Team that will develop a plan to reduce the bycatch of false killer whales.
The agency’s Federal Register notice says the fishery is accidentally killing or seriously injuring an average of 7.4 false killer whales each year in waters off Hawaii.
This exceeds the number — 2.5 per year — that the population may lose without suffering effects to its ability to sustain itself.
Fishermen, marine mammal biologists, environmental activists and government officials are expected to join the team.